...I'll keep you in suspense for a while while I update you on other things. Riding has been sporadic but great fun when I can be arsed / the weather cooperates. 2hrs on Sunday and then a 3.5hr blast with the Ashton crew from Gretton up Prescot and over Cleeve on Tuesday night felt really good. The new Fenix L2D Q5 and 2Fish mount on the helmet were great...plenty of light on its own let alone with the home-brew twin LEDs. The Conti Twister 42c are on the bike and despite lowering the BB by 15mm I have not noticed any more pedal strikes than normal. Line choice is a little more demanding as it traction / power transfer if you wand to avoid fish-tailing up the trail. While this does look cool to the people behind it just makes it harder work!
Running the CX / Monster-Cross type tyres has got me thinking about a dedicated monster-cross bike and what is the maximum tyre size I would need in the front and back. The 29x2.0" Michelin AT are plenty big enough as were the Bonty ACX and Kenda SB-8's although I do have a hankering for a WTB Weirwolf LT 29x2.55" for the front run at 20psi for added suspension! Seriously though a Conti Vapor 29x1.8" (they are marked 2.0" but are nowhere near) or the Bonty XR 1.8" would be more than enough so perhaps a more CX style bike might fit the bill, especially with the new Audax UK calender out now.
My big descision is do I prototype the frame in steel via Lee then wait for the Ti version OR just go straight to the Ti and trust the builder/designer? Hmmmm kind of weird letting someone else design a frame for me, like a pilot getting nervous when someone else is flying the plane :) These are just musings at the moment but the BikeCAD time keeps me sharp and keyed into the geeky side of things.
OK,you have waded throught that junk so what is the best bike of the year? Well here are a few stats:
It has gears
It has 26" wheels
It is only ridden on the road
It is a stock bike
Yep, my Saracen Pylon (2007 geared one) and Xtracycle combo. For all out fun and practicality you can't beat it with a very big stick. It does a great job of commuting me the mile to work and the mile and a half to the shops and rides well even with a weeks shopping for 2 in the back. It looks so mad no one wants to steal it and can be loked anywhere in town with out hassle.
Becca was, I think its fair to say, skeptical with the idea. Until she rode it once and now I have to leave it at home on Saturdays as she does the shopping on it. Oh, and she's named it "Dotty"...always a good sign of acceptance (although I think it looks more like an "Igor" with reference to the Terry Pratchet character who is ugly but very practical)
So, 29er drop-bar fixies loose out this year. Perhaps next year.